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  • FIALHO Fabrício (5)
  • PHILIPPE Sébastien (3)
  • CHAUDET Didier (3)
  • PARMENTIER Florent (3)
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This article presents the first reassessment of the strategic rationality and credibility of French nuclear weapons policy before 1974. Building on untapped primary material from across the world as well as technical analysis, it shows that early Cold War French nuclear weapon procurement and deployment are incompatible with a precise grand design and the requirements of strategic rationality. The first generation of French nuclear forces also lacked technical credibility, despite reliance on outside help. Several French officials knew about it, as did their allies and adversaries. These findings de-exceptionalise French nuclear history and challenge conventional wisdom about Cold War nuclear history.

in European Security Publication date 2020-12-14
EGELAND Kjolv
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In February 2020, French president Emmanuel Macron invited all interested European states to a “strategic dialogue” on the supposed contribution of France’s nuclear arsenal to European collective security. While certain media commentators relayed Macron’s intervention with approbation and excitement, framing the proposal as an exciting new idea that, if implemented, might boost Europe’s clout on the world stage, the dominant reaction was one of ennui. After all, the argument for Euro-nukes is far from new. In fact, several (mostly French) actors have unsuccessfully attempted to persuade European policymakers of the necessity of European nuclear weapons cooperation for more than half a century. In this article, we investigate the history, merits, and longevity of the case for European nuclear arms. Drawing on secondary literature, policymakers’ writings, and two hitherto untapped surveys of European public opinion conducted by one of the authors, we argue that the case for Euro-nukes is critically flawed with respect to security, strategic autonomy, futurity, and democratic good governance. We maintain that the continuous resurfacing of the “zombie” case for Euro-nukes is made possible by powerful organisational interests, as well as conceptual reversification resulting in enduring contradictions between nuclear vulnerabilities and claims of protection and autonomy.

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This video is based on the following research on nuclear vulnerabilities, from the Nuclear Knowledges program at Sciences Po, CERI

in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Publication date 2020-08-03
EGELAND Kjolv
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Did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shorten the war, and were they necessary to force the Japanese surrender? Many people believe the answer to both questions is yes: In dropping the Bomb, America chose the lesser of two evils. Although historians have long challenged this narrative as wrong or misleading, a significant number of Europeans still believe it. That is the primary result of a recent survey of European views on nuclear affairs generally and the atomic bombings of Japan specifically. The survey, carried out in October 2019, involved approximately 7,000 respondents aged 18 and upward, carefully selected to ensure representative samples from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom...

in The National Interest Publication date 2020-06-23
HERZOG Stephen
FIALHO Fabrício
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Polls in the United States and nine allied countries in Europe and Asia show that public support for a nuclear test is very low. If the Trump administration conducts a test, then it shouldn’t expect backing from Americans or its closest U.S. partners.

in Israël et la bombe. L'histoire du nucléaire israélien Publication date 2020-05-25
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[résumé de l'ouvrage] Bien qu’Israël ait franchi le Rubicon nucléaire à l’aube de la guerre des Six Jours, en 1967, il entretient toujours l’ambiguïté au sujet de ses capacités en ce domaine. Comment cette attitude d’« opacité » est-elle possible, et comment a-t-elle évolué ?

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This contribution argues that the concept of protean power opens a space to think about the limits of control and knowledge about catastrophic possibilities such as nuclear war. To do so, it offers the first distinctive definition of nuclear luck, which has long been acknowledged by policy and military leaders but remains unaccounted for in scholarship. It further shows that the nuclear realm is defined by two key unknowables. However, it argues that protean power perpetuates a survivability bias which has characterized scholarship so far, before suggesting ways to overcome that bias and modify scholarly ethos to acknowledge such catastrophic possibilities.

Dossier Nucléaire : entretien avec Benoît Pelopidas, réalisé par Guillaume Fourmont et Anne Lohéac (novembre 2019)

in Vingtième siècle - Revue d'histoire Publication date 2020-02
BONCOURT Thibaud
DEBOS Marielle
DELORI Mathias
WASINSKI Christophe
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Des segments du champ académique sont en partie financés par le ministère des Armées et les industries d’armement. Cette tendance s’accélère actuellement en France, dans un contexte de baisse générale des financements de la recherche. Cet article discute des effets de cette militarisation des financements sur les savoirs produits. L’argument général est que cette dynamique contribue à remettre en cause la frontière entre deux savoirs relevant de projets épistémologiques différents : la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales et l’expertise produite traditionnellement dans les think tanks. Nous développons cet argument à partir de deux cas : la recherche étatsunienne et britannique sur les bombardements dits « stratégiques » et la recherche française sur le nucléaire.

in Emulations Publication date 2020-01
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L’équipe de Nuclear Knowledges se saisit du travail de Thomas C. Schelling sous l’angle de son rôle dans la formulation de catégories essentielles du vocabulaire utilisé jusqu’à aujourd’hui, de la circulation des catégories d’analyse qu’il propose et de leur réception. Cet entretien vise à saisir certains apports et limites du travail de Schelling sur les questions de stratégies dans le domaine auquel il a été le plus traditionnellement associé : l’armement nucléaire et la dissuasion.

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